Friday, December 15, 2006

Turn the gifting crank

If you're related to me by blood, stop reading now. Then again, if you're related to me by blood, you're rationalizing to yourself right now that continuing to read is the moral equivalent to peeking in the corners of a package. My family has a long and glorious tradition of peeking, and they're probably feeling deprived of this since I'm so far away. So be it; surprise is in your hands.

My knee is oh-so-attractively modeling my sister's scarf in the "it's so cold I'm strangling myself" configuration. I tried to get the cat to model, but he was a bit disturbed by the amount of yelling I do when I watch Jepardy. This scarf is everything my sister asked for: big, fluffy, pretty, and soft. It's also geeky: if you look closely, you can see that I've used Fibonacci numbers as the basis for the striping. The number of ridges of Silk Garden in each stripe are {1,2,3=2+1,5=2+3,3,2,1}.

Yarn: Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran and Noro Silk Garden
Needles: Size 10 Denise
Pattern: Cast on enough stitches for length of scarf. Knit garter stitch until scarf is wide enough and/or you run out of yarn. Cast off loosely.

I have a surprise for a certain member of my family who kept fondling the same yarn every single time we went to the yarn store. I've been hiding this in my stash until now, when it begins to realize its destiny as mittens.

You can't convince me that Sinsation is for anything other than mittens. Why use that fuzzy yarn on anything other than your hands, where you get to actively feel it all the time? Seriously, I think Yarndex is insane when it suggests that sweaters would be an appropriate use of this yarn. (If I'm off base here, send me a picture.) First, it's thick and heavy, so it'll stretch out terribly. Second, it's thick and plushy, so it'll make you look like a caterpillar just before entering the cocoon. Babies look cute in sweaters like that, so I'll make an exception for them.

Anyway, I made a mitten using "two" size 10.5 Denise circulars and one ball of Sinsation. As I only have two of each size needle tip, I used size 10s to hold stitches while I knitted off of them with the size 10.5s. My pattern, however, was a little loose: magic cast-on, then increase like for socks until they were big enough, then knit until they're long enough, then knit back and forth to make a slit for a thumb, then knit a few rounds, then pick up and knit the thumb from the other end of the ball, then knit until you almost run out of yarn while decreasing around the base of the hand, then use the EZ sewn bind-off. Note the complete lack of numbers in this pattern. I was so worried that one ball of yarn wouldn't be enough that I didn't bother to note exactly what I did. Given the six inches of yarn I have left over, reproducing this mitten may be exciting in the "what do you mean I need to un-darn ends on a thick chenille yarn?" kind of way.

Tomorrow I'll attempt to reproduce this mitten while on the way to hike up a mountain. I will point out that hiking up a mountain in mid-December was not my idea, but it does sound fun. I even get to wear the least flattering pants ever made! They make me look like my bottom half has suddenly gained 30 pounds in some bizzare experiment to graft different-sized people together. Perhaps if I wear my fluffy down jacket I'll look normal again.

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